Antonio Felix da Costa, DTM, Hockenheimring, 2015

DTM, WTCC and more added to F1 licence system

2016 F1 season

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Antonio Felix da Costa, DTM, Hockenheimring, 2015The FIA has overhauled its new F1 superlicence points structure which will now give credit to drivers who compete in touring cars, karting and other single-seater championships.

The World Touring Car Championship, Germany’s DTM, the American Indy Lights series and the CIK-FIA karting world championships will now all contribute towards the 40 points drivers must accumulate over three years in order to be allowed to compete in Formula One.

The weightings of the other championships have also been revised. No championship will award more than 40 points, however the highest-ranked series will give that maximum the more than one driver.

Formula Renault 3.5 now awards more points than GP3, though still less than the FIA’s Formula Three championship. Japanese Super Formula, which features some of the fastest cars outside of F1, has always been given more points, yet is still rated lower than GP3.

Junior Formula Renault championships have also increased in importance, with the champion now receiving ten points instead of five.

The FIA has also confirmed the Formula E champion will be eligible for an F1 superlicence, although the series is not included in the points system. It will also allow drivers who earn enough superlicence points to qualify for F1 but do to immediately gain a drive to retain them for up to three years.

Revised 2016 FIA F1 Superlicence points structure

Future FIA F2 championship4040403020108643201
FIA F3 European championship40302010864321124
World Endurance Championship (LMP1 only)40302010864321124
Formula Renault 3.5352520151075321123
Japanese Super Formula2520151075321088
FIA WTCC151210753210055
Indy Lights151210753210055
National FIA Formula Four championships12107532100040
National Formula Three championships1075310000026
Formula Renault 2.0 (EuroCup, ALPS or NEC)1075310000026
CIK-FIA World Championships (Senior)532100000011

Original 2016 FIA F1 Superlicence points structure

Future FIA F2 championship6050403020108643
FIA F3 European Championship40302010864321
FIA World Endurance Championship (LMP1 only)40302010864321
Formula Renault 3.530201510753210
Japanese Super Formula2015107532100
FIA-certified national Formula Four championships10752100000
National Formula Three championships10752100000
Formula Renault EuroCup, ALPS or NEC5310000000

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 33 comments on “DTM, WTCC and more added to F1 licence system”

    1. Formula 3 is still overrated in my opinion. Even more so, given the last few incident-prone races. Good to see they are taking FR3.5 and touring cars into account, though.

      1. Agree

      2. @carlitox A series can’t be overrated. The drivers in it can. And the reason for that is F3 has huge grid sizes which wouldn’t be there had there been other F3 championships as well. Sadly, FIA’s flawed logic has prevented that. British, German and Italian F3s are dead, Spanish F3 (in its current iteration Euroformula Open) is limping on. There’s a massive void at that level that needs to be filled.

    2. Good to see the FIA still can’t do maths! A bit of an improvement..

      1. @fastiesty No they’re just trying to eliminate competition.

        And I must say the excuse they’re using to do that is bl**dy brilliant.

        1. @davidnotcoulthard “12, 10, 7”.. uhoh. But I agree. Swap round F3 and FR3.5 and it starts to make more sense.

            1. @david-a @keithcollantine The FIA not learning from their mistakes? Not surprising in the slightest. Is it meant to be 13 for the win, but it was degraded to 12 because of ‘superstition’?!

            2. @david-a
              The same thing is happening with Tour de France time bonuses. They used to be 20-12-8 seconds for the top 3 of every stage, then that system was abolished, and a couple of years later, a revised system resurfaces: 10-6-4.
              Have these people never heard of monotony, or are they hell bent on avoiding it because a little bird told them it’s a synonym of “boredom”?

    3. FR3.5 should at least be above of F3. Some drivers “move up” from F3 to FR3.5, which is from technical standpoint is correct, unfortunately from license point it is not. It isn’t like the competition in FR3.5 is worse than F3 (at least not before they make this license point).

      1. It isn’t like the competition in FR3.5 is worse than F3 (at least not before they make this license point).

        Except for the fact that it is this year.

        1. @rjoconnell Except that it’s only because of the silly points rule.

        2. Formula Renault 3.5 has not had any rounds cancelled/terminated early due to collective driver incompetence this year. F3 has. That alone indicates the standard in Formula Renault 3.5 remains higher than in F3, given that F1 is not supposed to be the pinnacle of banger racing.

      2. FR3.5 should be equal to GP2.

    4. It is basically corrupt.

    5. This is all bull. Well intentioned yes, but complete crap and Verstappen (and many others over the years) has proved that. FIA you are boring me, sort out a budget cap instead of messing about with this.

      1. I don’t even see well-intentioned @unicron2002. FIA are not supposed to be selecting on performance, it’s supposed to be safety. That would mean on disciplinary record, age, number of races, things like that.

        The idea of making hot but young drivers like Max wait is a good one, and recently we’re seeing that he is a bit young, but they could fix that by saying 19+ and 2 seasons of open-wheelers. There was no need for this points business at all.

        It’s a blatant stitch-up, promoting their own series at the expense of others like Renault.

    6. I do not feel the FIA has understood the problem regarding the Superlicence system. Nothing in the system guarantees, or even seriously implies, that the drivers who hold a Superlicence are going to be better than those who do not. Nothing here guarantees the drivers who have a Superlicence will be able to drive in a straight line (the purported point of the Superlicence). The continued overrating of F3 – which has been little more than a crashfest this year – compared to Formula 3.5, which is arguably the best preparation for F1, demonstrates this. The decisions on the points system appear to have been based on a combination of ideology and guesswork (F2 cannot be sensibly rated as above GP2 when it doesn’t exist and the previous version was a step down from GP3).

      I’d rather see a system where an end-of-season test assessed potential new F1 drivers, who would need an invite from a F1 team to show up (and, ideally, also those F1 drivers who’d picked up too many penalty points or failed to score any points in the previous season, plus 2-3 randomly-selected “known good F1 driver” benchmarks). They could demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of all the various aspects of being a racing driver, have some surprise scenarios to make sure the test isn’t easy to “rote learn” and only those showing as above a certain standard would then receive the right to hold a Superlicence. (I’d also have every driver involved receive notes about where they were good and where they need to improve – some drivers have shown a worrying lack of awareness of their weak points, and this sort of feedback would improve the standard of junior racing).

      1. I think stewards should be able to deduct Superlicense qualifying points for poor driving standards. I call it the “Canamasas Gambit”.

    7. Personally I am not a fan of this system. It’s just another thing just complicating already over-complicated F1. I don’t think it will change much apart from creating another chaos.

      1. Same applies to penalty points system. Look at their consistency, once they penalise the other time not. And it’s doubtful anyone will accumulate a race ban and even if he does that will only show he shouldn’t have had a superlicence. It’s another pointless thing. Maybe I am in minority but I feel that even every spin in the race, in the past regarded as simple driving mistake or car failure, it’s considered as 50/50 and no one knows what’s going on (Kimi in Canada).

    8. Typically bureaucratic solution to a problem that didn’t exist from the FIA. This is just a smokescreen to inflate/bury catagories as they see fit.

      1. Well said, another solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. A habit for both the FIA and the ‘Strategy’ Group over the past year or so

    9. It doesn’t change the fact that they are awarding an F3 series that carries their branding and sponsors more than a premiere class single seater in FR3.5 that develops almost double the amount of BHP.

      It also doesn’t change the fact DTM drivers are, in essence, ineligible. Pascal Wehrlein will require three consecutive DTM titles if he wants a super-license whilst racing in DTM alone. Amusingly, whilst drivers like Wehrlein, Marvin Kirchofer and Dean Stoneman may struggle for eligibility, Will Power, Marcel Fassler and former GT driver Marc Lieb will have no problems.

      Yes, speciation in international single seater racing is a valid problem because the true talent can be spread too thinly and it sometimes becomes difficult to deduce the most talented driver on offer (2014 scenario for example: who was doing the better job, Carlos Sainz Jr or Alex Lynn?). Creating a monopolistic system that steamrolls established mechanisms for F1 promotion is not the answer. So whilst the official justifications for this system are to tackle the series competition and the influx of “pay drivers” into F1 (a problem with an altogether more logical solution), it is not difficult to deduce that this is the FIA’s attempt to reclaim control of single seater racing.

      Final point: even in the context of GP2, GP3 and FR3.5 all operating in parallel, have F1 teams truly struggled to spot the truly talented drivers?

      1. @countrygent, the latest proposal by the FIA is actually more lenient towards DTM than it was in the past – under the previous regulations, the DTM series held no value at all in terms of acquiring a superlicence, and to be honest nobody really cared about it (or at least I do not recall any protests about the old licence system from DTM drivers).

    10. don’t understand why its LMP1 only, why not LMP2, if the likes of F3 are on the list, LMP2 cars should easily be on the list?

    11. Good news.

    12. So a consecutive triple DTM champ is only just enough for F1…

      1. Seems so.

        So, if Paul di Resta appeared now, he probably wouldn’t have been given the chance to compete.

    13. Formula Renault 3.5: 35 25 20 15 10 7 5 3 2 1 123

      FIA F3 European championship 40 30 20 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 124

      Something seems a bit off here, even if we ignore some of the driving standards that exist in the latter.

    14. I really dislike this system. I see no valid reason why the FIA had to introduce it.
      Even though some teams need pay drivers, none of the teams are stupid enough to put a total rookie with unqualified skills in the car.

      And then what about people like Pascal Wehrlein. He has done a great amount of testing with both Mercedes and Force India. He is no more of a safety risk than any other F1 driver. He has proven to be able to handle the car and do a decent job. I honestly have no idea how many license-points he actually has, but certainly he should deserve to be able to accept an offer from an F1 team if that possibility would arise.

      This system is more unfair than some rookie like Max Verstappen bypassing a couple of junior categories.

    15. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      12th July 2015, 20:20

      I’m glad they realised the futility of awarding more than 40 points.

      The single points still baffle me though, as I can’t imagine any situation where a one point would be a factor in getting over the line in a 3 year period.

    Comments are closed.